ANY FEARS that “high” ammonium nitrate prices may inhibit sales have totally evaporated as oil prices reach yet another all time high and UK manufacturers sell out not only August production, but September as well.
This means that AN has passed through both the August and September prices of £142/t and £144/t respectively.
It seems that some merchants have quoted discounted prices on farm, but the manufacturers are adamant that these are not supported at their level, nor will they offer retrospective discounts.
Therefore those merchants must operate at little or no margin or return to the customer with a revised price.
Not surprisingly, a price for October production has yet to be published as the energy cost are so volatile that no one can hazard a serious guess what manufacturing costs will be in three months time.
All eyes are turned to Terra, the clear market leader in AN production, for a lead. Import availability is still virtually nil.
But, the total of Terra Nitrogen and Kemira GrowHow nitrogen production, plus Yara imports, represents some 1.5m tonnes. UK usage last season reached 1.9m tonnes.
Therefore 400, 000 tonnes of AN must come from somewhere and no one doubts that this will ultimately land on our shores. The big question of course is when, and at what price?
Typically, urea starts to arrive before the end of the year but currently is more expensive per unit of plant food than AN.
CURRENT PRICES (£/t)
Domestic N (34.5%N) SP5
Imported AN Lithuanian & Bulgarian
£135 where available
Muriate of Potash(60%K2O)
20.10.10 / 27.5.5
|Copper, zinc, selenium,|
cobalt Iodine and sodium
|£200 (existing stocks only)||€270-280|
(dependant on source and quality)
†Note in the Republic of Ireland nutrients are expressed as elements not oxides. Analyses will not be directly comparable with those used in the UK.
*Known as 24.2½.10 blend in the Republic of Ireland
**Known as 27.2½.5 in ROI
Note All illustrated prices are based upon 24 tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.